If you’ve suffered from an accident that wasn’t your fault, then the chances are you might well be entitled to claim compensation from those who were responsible. Something that many people are uncertain about with regards to making a claim is whether or not they will be liable for any costs as a result of making a claim with a ‘no win, no fee’* lawyer. If you’re uncertain about incurring potential charges, this article will explain how the process works and what costs could be incurred.
Essentially, a ‘no win, no fee’ solicitor agreement is as it sounds. If you win your case, then you won’t be expected to pay the fees of the solicitors, although there may be some small expenses that need covering. If you win the case, however, then the solicitor’s fees will come out of your compensation winnings. As such, you won’t pay fees from your original bank balance, but a payment will come out of your claim, and the fee is typically bigger than if the case had been lost, as is to be expected.
One of the main costs that can occur under a no win, no fee* agreement is if you lose your case. Because you brought proceedings against the responsible party, you will then be expected to cover all of their costs with regards to the case because essentially you will be seen to have wasted the third party’s time and money. Typically, claimants will combat these costs by taking out what is known as ‘after the event insurance’ in order to cover these costs, just in case. Whether this insurance is necessary or not will be discussed with your solicitor in advance of making a case.
Solicitor’s costs essentially break down into two main sets of fees. The basic fees are, as you might have guessed, the cost of actually having a solicitor representing you during your claim. If you win, then these costs will typically have to be paid by the other side, although the other side can dispute the costs if they feel they are too high. Some solicitors will agree to charge you only what you’re able to claim back from the other side. If this is the case then it will be written into the conditional fee agreement.
The other main cost is the success fee, which is how much the solicitor will charge should the case be won. Fortunately, this will be told to you before you press ahead with a claim, so you can decide in advance if you feel it’s worth continuing with the claim.
Finally, there are a few other fees that can naturally occur whilst making a claim for injury compensation. On some rare occasions you may require a barrister to represent you if the case goes to court, and this will mean barrister’s fees are incurred. Other small expenses include things such as accident report fees, official searches, court fees and travelling expenses, all of which can add up if you don’t keep track of them. The key is to work out all your expenses in advance.
Date Published: September 30, 2013
Author: David Brown